Boulder Dam (1936)

70 mins | Drama | 7 March 1936

Director:

Frank McDonald

Producer:

Sam Bischoff

Cinematographer:

Arthur L. Todd

Production Designer:

Hugh Reticker

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

Dan M. Templin's story idea was entitled "Boulder Dam." The film's pre-release title was Backfire . Contemporary sources credit Tommy Richards as film editor, but Saper is credited on the film. According to MPH 's "In the Cutting Room" column, Laird Doyle was assigned to write the screenplay, but his contribution to the final film is undetermined. News items in DV note that Patricia Ellis replaced Ann Dvorak as the lead, with the result that the dancing role planned for Dvorak was changed to a singing role. A news item in Lib mentions that Ray "Red" Russell, a former Boulder Dam worker, worked on the film. In 1947, Boulder Dam was renamed Hoover Dam in honor of former President Herbert Hoover, who authorized the dam's construction. ... More Less

Dan M. Templin's story idea was entitled "Boulder Dam." The film's pre-release title was Backfire . Contemporary sources credit Tommy Richards as film editor, but Saper is credited on the film. According to MPH 's "In the Cutting Room" column, Laird Doyle was assigned to write the screenplay, but his contribution to the final film is undetermined. News items in DV note that Patricia Ellis replaced Ann Dvorak as the lead, with the result that the dancing role planned for Dvorak was changed to a singing role. A news item in Lib mentions that Ray "Red" Russell, a former Boulder Dam worker, worked on the film. In 1947, Boulder Dam was renamed Hoover Dam in honor of former President Herbert Hoover, who authorized the dam's construction. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
8 Oct 35
p. 1.
Daily Variety
21 Oct 35
p. 10.
Daily Variety
2 Nov 35
p. 2.
Daily Variety
6 Nov 35
p. 4.
Daily Variety
20 Nov 35
p. 11.
Daily Variety
19 Feb 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
25 Feb 36
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Feb 36
p. 4.
Motion Picture Daily
19 Feb 36
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Dec 35
p. 29.
Motion Picture Herald
4 Apr 36
p. 40.
New York Times
30 Mar 36
p. 17.
Variety
1 Apr 36
p. 17.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Backfire
Release Date:
7 March 1936
Production Date:
21 October--20 November 1935
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
26 February 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6162
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1753
SYNOPSIS

Rusty Noonan, a wisecracking mechanic with a chip on his shoulder, inadvertently kills his boss at Detroit's United Taxi Co. during an argument. In a panic, he runs away, heading West. While walking through the desert, he stops to fix Ann Vangarick's car, and she offers him a lift in return. He has heard that there is plenty of construction work at Boulder Dam, but when he shows up several days in a row without getting hired, he leaves in a huff. He meets Ann again in the Las Vegas club where she is a singer. Over dinner, he tells Ann his name is Joe Callahan. Wanting to give him a break, she invites him home for the night, but when he makes a pass at her, she straightens him out right away. Her family, recent immigrants, are generous people. Slowly, Rusty accepts their good will, and one night when the men are talking about how much the dam means to them, Rusty decides to reapply for work there. Under Ann's influence, he rapidly makes good, and when he unloads a runaway dynamite truck, he is suddenly a hero. Shortly afterward, Agnew, the head of the project, promotes Rusty. Feeling accepted for the first time, Rusty asks Ann to marry him and she gladly agrees. As he celebrates his engagement with some of the men, Lacy, a former suitor of Ann, reveals that he knows Rusty's real identity and threatens to tell the police if Rusty doesn't leave town alone within twenty-four hours. Before he can make good on his threat, however, a carrier cable breaks, placing Lacy's ... +


Rusty Noonan, a wisecracking mechanic with a chip on his shoulder, inadvertently kills his boss at Detroit's United Taxi Co. during an argument. In a panic, he runs away, heading West. While walking through the desert, he stops to fix Ann Vangarick's car, and she offers him a lift in return. He has heard that there is plenty of construction work at Boulder Dam, but when he shows up several days in a row without getting hired, he leaves in a huff. He meets Ann again in the Las Vegas club where she is a singer. Over dinner, he tells Ann his name is Joe Callahan. Wanting to give him a break, she invites him home for the night, but when he makes a pass at her, she straightens him out right away. Her family, recent immigrants, are generous people. Slowly, Rusty accepts their good will, and one night when the men are talking about how much the dam means to them, Rusty decides to reapply for work there. Under Ann's influence, he rapidly makes good, and when he unloads a runaway dynamite truck, he is suddenly a hero. Shortly afterward, Agnew, the head of the project, promotes Rusty. Feeling accepted for the first time, Rusty asks Ann to marry him and she gladly agrees. As he celebrates his engagement with some of the men, Lacy, a former suitor of Ann, reveals that he knows Rusty's real identity and threatens to tell the police if Rusty doesn't leave town alone within twenty-four hours. Before he can make good on his threat, however, a carrier cable breaks, placing Lacy's life in danger. Selflessly, Rusty rescues him and realizes that he must tell the truth about himself. When he confesses to Agnew, he is told that he must return to Detroit to take his punishment, but that the company will stand by him as will Ann. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.